Interview with Stokley Carmichael

Tell me what the murder of Jonathan Daniels and the affect it had on you.


Well, Jonathan and I got to know each other quite a bit after our first discussion and he began to see it, we began to discuss it. We'd meet quite often in Selma. And whenever I was there he would seek me out to spend time together. I had a lot of appreciation for him. He was different from the regular activists that came. He tried to analyze your problems a little bit deeper and he too was more interested in lasting solutions rather than the temporary ones. So we got to like each other, if you will, and when the demonstrations started, even unbeknown to me, he participated in them. So I was unaware of the fact that he was arrested until I, myself, was arrested—although not involved in the demonstration at all—was arrested and found out he was in jail so I was arrested together [sic]. Due to an error made by the police authorities in Lowndes County by placing my arrest with theirs, when in fact they were entirely separated, I was released from prison before them. So, I was released probably a couple of hours before them. I went immediately to Selma to see our lawyers to sign bonds which I thought would make for their release. I was returning immediately to Selma, when halfway to between Selma and no more than halfway, about 20 minutes from the Lowndes County capital, Hayneville, I met a SNCC worker, Willie Vaughns, who informed me that there was just a great shooting. Because he, too, was in jail and had just been released and everybody had scattered. So, I immediately went to Hayneville. The town was quiet. I was alone. I was armed and there was nothing but blood in front of the store which was closed. He had informed me that Jonathan had been killed.